Bridgepoint to acquire Sapec Agro Business

A European private equity firm has agreed to purchase a crop protection and nutrition-focused unit of Sapec Group, a Portuguese conglomerate.

Bridgepoint, a European private equity firm, has agreed to acquire Sapec Agro Business in a deal that values the company at €456 million and is expected to close this month, pending regulatory approval.

BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Mizuho and Rabobank all provided debt for the transaction, according to a statement from Bridgepoint.

“With a new shareholder that shares our future ambitions, our aim is accelerate the growth of our business by opening and creating new markets and launching further R&D-led developments,” said Sapec Agro Business chief executive Eric van Innis, who will continue to lead the company.

As of 3 November, net debt and other adjustment items for Sapec Agro Business were estimated at €140 million and offers to purchase the business ranged between €434.5 million and €474 million, according to a separate statement from parent company Sapec Group, which noted that a substantial portion of cash received in the deal will be distributed to shareholders.

“Agro Business has now grown to a significant market share in its traditional markets and has consolidated its international presence in a global market in rapid consolidation,” Sapec Group previously stated. “A new development phase requires, among others, new investments.”

Headquartered in Portugal, Sapec Agro Business reported revenues of €223 million in 2015 and has sales in more than 70 countries. The company manufactures crop protection and nutrition products under the Tradecorp brand and its products include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides catering to fruits, vegetables and vines.

In June, Sapec Agro Business announced the European Patent office approval of a patent for a fungicide designed to protect vineyards from major crop diseases, marking its fifth patent out of the previous two years.

Sapec Group is a Portuguese industrial holding firm founded in 1926 as a fertiliser and mining company operating in the agriculture, chemical products, animal nutrition, logistics and renewable energy sectors in Portugal and Spain. Aside from the unit sold to Bridgepoint, it maintains distinct business units focused on industrial chemicals, agro-commodities distribution and logistics.

London-based Bridgepoint is a private equity firm that typically focuses its investments on businesses valued between €200 million and €1 billion. The firm invests across the business services, consumer products, healthcare, industrial, technology and other sectors and has $24.7 billion in assets under management, according to PEI Research and Analytics.

In June, Bridgepoint acquired Turkish dried fruit, nuts and seeds producer Peyman for an undisclosed sum.